This Seems Relevant

"The LDS Church has no doctrine of infallibility, but it is characterized by a church culture that elevates the prophet and his mantle to near infallible heights ... The challenge of Mormon leadership is how to balance Woodruff's assurance that the leadership will never lead members astray, with the empirical and doctrinal reality of prophets designated by the voice of revelation as 'the weak things of the earth.'"-Terryl L. Givenes, Wrestling the Angel p. 22 … [Read more...]

O Say What is Truth

 "The Church is true"  has got to be the most uttered phrase on the first Sunday of the month in LDS churches worldwide. But alas, it’s a phrase that has tripped me up since childhood. Not because I don’t believe it, but because those words, in that precise order, have never made sense to me.What does it mean to say the Church is “true?” Are we saying the Church is “honest?” Maybe that the Church is the “genuine article?” Or that it “conforms to the actual state and conditions of rea … [Read more...]

Jesus in Doubt

Over the last few years, public discussions of the place of doubt in Mormon life have increased substantially. The sources of doubt are not new. Theological puzzles, historical messiness, fallible leadership, cultural weakness, personal suffering—all these subjects (and more) have been addressed and/or wrestled with since Mormonism’s founding. The nature and depth of these conversations have varied, of course. But the LDS Church has never collectively had them as consistently and openly as it has … [Read more...]

The Next Church Handbook Change: Tithing and Affinity Fraud

Shawn Merriman was a devoted family man, a diligent Mormon bishop, and, ultimately, a convicted fraudster. Dubbed the “Mormon Madoff”, Merriman, a self-described hedge-fund manager, ran a Ponzi scheme that swindled dozens of his friends and acquaintances, and even his own mother, out of millions of dollars. He used his ill-gotten gains to finance a luxurious lifestyle, purchasing Rembrandt prints, antique cars, and sports memorabilia. In March 2009, finding that he could no longer maintain his el … [Read more...]

Mormon Church Responds to Bundy-led Oregon Occupation

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now officially condemned the actions of a group of armed militiamen in Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy--a Mormon--and fueled by right-wing ideology, mixed with a unique brand of Mormonstyle American exceptionalism. Here's the statement: While the disagreement occurring in Oregon about the use of federal lands is not a Church matter, Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those … [Read more...]

Cliven Bundy and His Sons Are Terrorists: So Why Haven’t They Been Excommunicated?

The notorious Cliven Bundy is back in the news, this time because two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, have joined up with a terrorist group that has seized a national wildlife refuge in Oregon as a form of protest. Cliven Bundy and his sons are also Mormons - they are not fundamentalists, but official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.In a Church that puts a great deal of resources into PR efforts, the Bundy family seems to contribute a lot of bad press for the … [Read more...]

Familiar with All and Free with Our Substance

This past year I read (or returned to) a handful of both fiction and nonfiction portraits of poverty. Part of the motivation for this reading was the significance of economic inequality as a contemporary political issue (see #feelthebern), but the primary motivation was religious. I have found it very hard to read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Doctrine and Covenants and ignore the claims these texts make about God’s desire that the poor receive attention. This desire is clearly present i … [Read more...]

No, Mormon Women do not Oppose Female Ordination, and Here’s Why That Matters

When the topic of ordaining Mormon women comes up, one of the most common responses from top Church leadership as well as more orthodox members is that Mormon women are, in an overwhelming majority, against being ordained. Personally, I've heard a number of reasons for being against ordination, ranging from pseudo-science theories about female vs. male brains (theories about the brain that have been debunked), to insulting complaints that men would slack off if they weren't the only people o … [Read more...]


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